A Pioneer who got to Interview THE best names in Sports Legends
Gil is perhaps best known for his work as a sportscaster. This work crossed over from radio to television and back to radio again. Gil Stratton loved sports from an early age. It was always his dream to someday become a radio sportscaster before the genre was defined.
Some of the sports legends he had the privilege of knowing and meeting include the following:
Jim (James Nathaniel) Brown was a former professional American football player. He was best known for his record-setting nine-year career as a fullback for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL) from 1957 through 1965. In 2002, he was named by Sporting News as the greatest professional football player ever. (from wikipedia)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (born Ferdinand Lewis (Lew) Alcindor, Jr.) is an American retired professional basketball player who played 20 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers. During his career as a center, Abdul-Jabbar was a record six-time NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), a record 19-time NBA All-Star, a 15-time All-NBA selection, and an 11-time NBA All-Defensive Team member. A member of six NBA championship teams as a player and two as an assistant coach, Abdul-Jabbar twice was voted NBA Finals MVP. In 1996, he was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. NBA coach Pat Riley and players Isiah Thomas and Julius Erving have called him the greatest basketball player of all time. (from wikipedia)
George Stanley Halas, Sr. nicknamed “Papa Bear” and “Mr. Everything”, was a player, coach, owner, and pioneer in professional American football. He was the iconic founder and owner of the National Football League’s Chicago Bears. He was also lesser known as an inventor, jurist, radio producer, philanthropist, philatelist, and Major League Baseball player. Most notably, he is considered one of the original co-founders of the National Football League (NFL) in 1920. (from wikipedia)
Downhill racer gold medal winner Jean Claude Killy Jean-Claude Killy also known as Gilette is a former French World Cup alpine ski racer. Born in Saint-Cloud, Hauts-de-Seine, he dominated the sport in the late 1960s. He was a triple Olympic champion, winning the three alpine events at the 1968 Winter Olympics, becoming the most successful athlete there. He also won the first two World Cup titles, in 1967 and 1968. (from wikipedia)
William Lee “Bill” Shoemaker was an American jockey. For 29 years he held the world record for total professional jockey victories. Referred to as “Bill”, “Willie,” and “The Shoe”, William Lee Shoemaker was so small at birth that he was not expected to survive the night. Put in a shoebox in the oven to stay warm, he survived, but remained small, growing to 4 feet 11 inches and weighing only 105 pounds. His diminutive size proved an asset, as he went on to become a giant in thoroughbred horse racing. (from wikipedia)
Dallas Crutcher Long is an American track and field athlete, who was four time world record holder in the shot put. Long competed for the United States at the 1960 Summer Olympics held in Rome, Italy where he won the bronze medal. He returned four years later to Tokyo for the 1964 Summer Olympics where he won the gold medal in the men’s shot put.
Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay) was an American Olympic and professional boxer. He is regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated sports figures of the 20th century. From early in his career, Ali was known as an inspiring, controversial and polarizing figure both inside and outside the ring.
Jerry Alan West was an American basketball player who played his entire professional career for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). His nicknames include “Mr. Clutch”, for his ability to make a big play in a clutch situation, “The Logo”, in reference to his silhouette being incorporated into the NBA logo; and “Mr. Outside”, in reference to his perimeter play with the Los Angeles Lakers. At West Virginia University, he earned the NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player. He then embarked on a 14-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, and was the co-captain of the 1960 U.S. Olympic gold medal team in Rome, a squad that would be inducted as a unit into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. (from wikipedia)
Wilton Norman “Wilt” Chamberlain was a 7 foot 1 inch American basketball player. He played for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA); he played for the University of Kansas and also for the Harlem Globetrotters before playing in the NBA. He played the center position and is widely considered one of the greatest and most dominant players in NBA history. (from wikipedia)